THEY WERE together before they were even born and, as Chris Andro prepared to take his twin brother, Lou, off life support Thursday, he said that the bond they share will never be broken.
It was around 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, when Andro said he felt his heart racing and didn't know why. That was about the same time that Lou, a pizza deliveryman at Wyoming Pizza, was struck by a hit-and-run driver outside work at Wyoming and Whitaker avenues, in Feltonville.
Surveillance footage from a nearby bar shows Andro, 45, standing next to his delivery car when a dark vehicle crossed the intersection and appeared to swerve directly into him.
The driver launched Andro more than 50 feet from where he was struck and left him unconscious and bleeding. Chris Andro got a call soon after.
"It's true what they say about twins," Andro said Thursday from Temple University Hospital. "I just can't believe that this happened, that he could be gone."
Andro said that his family, including Lou's sons, Nicholas and Jesse, felt it would be best to donate his organs because of his willingness to help anyone, including strangers.
"Then we'll pull the plug and say goodbye," he said.
Andro was pronounced dead at 5:28 p.m.
Police believe that the vehicle that struck Andro is a dark-colored 2001 to 2004 Lincoln sedan, possibly an LS. It will likely have front-end damage on the right side.
Thursday morning, Sgt. Joseph Rossa, of the Accident Investigation Division, was canvassing the area looking for additional surveillance cameras that may have recorded where the car went as it sped off toward Roosevelt Boulevard. As he walked along Wyoming Avenue toward the pizza shop, Rossa didn't find more footage, but heard a similar description of Andro by everyone in the neighborhood.
"Great guy. They all say he was just a great guy," he said.
Chris Andro said police told him that the hit-and-run could have been intentional, but his brother's only enemies, he theorized, could be a jealous guy or two.
"A lot of girls really liked him," he said.
Officer Paul Busch, of the AID, said the video shows that the back window of the vehicle was down when it struck Andro and it appears that a hand may have reached out of the car.
"It looks like [Andro] could be counting money, and they seem to purposely go in his direction," Busch said.
Although the surveillance footage shows several vehicles in the area, no witnesses had come forward with additional information Thursday, Busch said.
At the scene, Alfredo Martinez stepped in the dried blood that surrounded a memorial of candles, looking for clues. He knew Andro from Olney, where he went to high school, and said that he was a "class act."
"I saw him on Thanksgiving. He came and visited me and my mom," Martinez, 42, said as he picked through the broken glass and plastic. "If he was your friend, it was forever."
At Andro's well-kept rowhouse in nearby Juniata Park, Christmas decorations sat on the windowsill and the leaves of his rosebushes and pepper plants had grown brittle from the cold.
"He is a great neighbor. He could never be replaced," said Barbara Potts, 73. "He used to do everything for me and I paid him, too. I used to say 'Louie, you're my maintenance man.' "
Chris Andro said that he and his brother came to the United States from Greece more than 40 years ago with their parents. His family found their niche in pizza, opening and closing several parlors in the area over the years. They once owned Wyoming Pizza.
More recently, Lou Andro had been working as an exterminator and a handyman in addition to pizza delivery, just to pay the bills, Chris Andro said.
He also said that his brother saved him once, during a robbery at a pizza parlor that the family owned on Germantown Avenue.
"I had been pistol whipped pretty bad. He scooped me up and got me to the hospital," Chris Andro said.
Lou, his brother said, was a die-hard fan of Philadelphia sports, particularly the Flyers. He could talk sports, or anything for that matter, with just about anyone.
"He was the life of the party, always smiling, yelling. He would go up to a stranger and start conversations out of nowhere," he said. "Everyone liked him."
Anyone with information on the hit-and-run should contact the Accident Investigation Division at 215-685-3180, the police tip line at 215-686-TIPS (8477) or text a tip to PPD TIP (773847)